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What’s the difference between Seachem Prime and Pristine?

Seachem has two products that are advertised to help with removing ammonia, nitrites and nitrates from your fish tank.

You can check out this comparison guide at Aquarium Blueprints to see what are the major difference between Prime and Pristine.

Quick Summary

Seachem Prime will help detoxify ammonia, nitrites and nitrates to make your tank water safe for fish for up to 48 hours. So, while it won’t remove the toxic nitrogen compounds from your tank, Prime will bind them until they get consume by the beneficial bacteria from your biological filtration.

Seachem Pristine includes bacteria that will breakdown excess organic wastes, which should result in less ammonia, nitrites and nitrates being produced. Like Prime, Pristine won’t remove existing toxic compound from your tank; instead, this product will reduce any additional build up, giving the beneficial bacteria of your biological filtration a chance to catch up with the nitrogen production.

Prime will also remove chlorine, chloramine along with small traces of arsenic, copper, lead and mercury. It will also promote health slime production for your fish.

With Pristine, you should get a cleaner and clear tank due to less wastes and small particles.

If you are looking to get rid of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates as quickly as possible, then we recommend getting Seachem Prime and then use it in conjunction with daily water changes.

If you are looking for a long-term solution to getting the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in check, then you might want to consider getting Seachem Pristine as its bacteria colonies will help prevent excess nitrogen compounds from building up.


You can find the current price tags for these products on Amazon via the following links:

Available Bottle Sizes

You can take a look at the available bottle sizes for both products below:

Seachem Prime:

  • 50 mL
  • 100 mL
  • 250 mL
  • 500 mL
  • 1 L
  • 2 L
  • 4 L

Seachem Pristine:

  • 100 mL
  • 250 mL
  • 500 mL
  • 1 L
  • 2 L
  • 4 L

Supported Tank Water

When it comes to the tank water, Prime and Pristine should be compatible with freshwater, saltwater (marine) in addition to brackish water.

Expiration Date

The Seachem Prime does not have an expiration date. On the other hand, the Seachem Pristine, has an expiry date set at 4 years from the day it was manufactured.

Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates Reduction

When it comes to removing ammonia, nitrites and nitrates from your aquarium, the Seachem Prime uses a formulated chemical to bind ammonia, nitrites and nitrates for up to 48 hours. With this process, these compounds won’t harm you fish and other aquatic pets.

Even in non-toxic forms, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates will still be consumed by the beneficial bacteria you have in your biological filtration.

So, while Prime won’t directly remove ammonia, nitrites and nitrates from your tank water, the formula will make it safe for your fish for a short period of time.

The Seachem Pristine offers a different approach when it comes to getting rid of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. The bottles of this product are filled with bacteria that will break down food, wastes and other general detritus. It can take up to 3 days for these bacteria colonies to established themselves in your tank.

By having less decomposing matter, your aquarium should produce less ammonia, nitrite and nitrates.

While it may not remove these harmful nitrogen compounds directly, Pristine will prevent any excessive buildup.

Additional Benefits

The Seachem Prime does offer several additional benefits, the biggest of which is that this chemical will remove chlorine and chloramine if you are using tap water for your fish tank.

Furthermore, this product will help detoxify small traces of potentially harmful heavy metals such as arsenic, copper, lead and mercury.

Finally, Prime will also help your fish develop slime coating that will help protect them against diseases and infections.

In addition to aiding in reducing ammonia, nitrite and nitrates, Seachem Pristine will help consume organic wastes. The bacteria will also produce biopolymers that will trap small particles.

As a result, Pristine should help make your fish tank ultimately look cleaner.


Under normal circumstances, you can dose 5 mL of Seachem Prime for every 50 gallons of tank water you are trying to treat.

For Seachem Pristine, you will need to dose a lot more, to the amount of 5 mL for every 10 gallons, when you first add it to your tank. After the initial dose, however, you can cut the dosage amount to half (5 mL for every 20 gallons).

To find out more about how much and how often you can add Pristine to your aquarium, you can take a look at this guide.